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Investigators discover link to old burglary, poaching cases

Mon., March 19, 2012, 9:50 a.m.

While investigating thefts in Whitman and Spokane counties on Sunday, investigators discovered a link to a 2009 burglary, along with potential links to old theft and poaching cases.

Michael J. Fullerton, 29, of Rosalia, was booked into the Whitman County Jail on suspicion of burglary, theft, trespassing, vehicle prowling and marijuana possession, a Monday news release from the Whitman County Sheriff’s Office said. Fullerton also faces possible charges of felon in possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm suppressor and trafficking in stolen property in Spokane County.

Investigators from the Whitman and Spokane county sheriff’s offices, along with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife served search warrants on Sunday, one in Whitman County and one in Spokane County, in relation to a recent spree of thefts.

As a result, investigators recovered numerous items associated with the recent car prowling and battery thefts. Firearms, unlawful firearm suppressors, tires and rims, portable generators and illegal narcotics also were discovered, the release said.

Investigators also discovered information linking the recent cases to a burglary from the Pine City area in 2009. In that case, a safe containing more than 20 guns, valuable coins and jewelry and tools were taken from a home, the release said. At least nine guns and multiple tools from that burglary have been recovered.

Investigators are also looking to see if other property and evidence links the suspect to four other car prowling thefts that occurred in the Hole-in-the-Ground area in 2009. Fish and Wildlife investigators are looking into potential game violations after finding numerous game animal remains at both locations where warrants were served, the release said.

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